Tag Archives: Emily Pilloton

Unprofessional Development #Campfire led by #EmilyPilloton and @jenksbyjenks of @theUnPD! #CreativeCamp

Emily Pilloton and Christina Jenkins of Project H Design have cooked up a new way to re-energize the creative forces of educators with their Unprofessional Development courses. I was lucky to attend their inaugural New York Campfire, and it was amazing to learn from/with Emily and Christina. Their goal is to get teachers to be comfortable getting uncomfortable in order to bring re-energized, freshly tapped creativity back to their craft and the classroom.

The Campfire (which will possibly be renamed a Creative Camp as they are still prototyping…)  included three activities which I particularly enjoyed, and the context for each was just mindblowingly awesome. Emily and Christina each know a lot (quantitatively and qualitatively), and it was great to hear how they couched each activity in interesting and cerebral ways.

  1. Get to know each other via speed dating using questions taken from and adapted from a New York Times article which was passed around my social media streams not too long ago, The 36 Questions That Lead to Love. For each question, locate a new partner in the group. Questions included: What are you really good at? What are you inspired by? What are you afraid of? What are you proud of? Who are you afraid of?
  2. Embark on a design challenge with your partner to craft a garment for a post-apocalyptic society using IKEA bags, yarn, tape, scissors, and an assigned “obstruction” in 35 minutes. Possible examples of obstructions included: You may not talk aloud with your partner, You may not use scissors, You must use all parts of the bag, You must use triangular shapes…
  3. Learn how to tie knots using any means possible (locate a mentor, watch a YouTube video, read a book…)

Each participant in the group left with a hand-screened poster with @TheUnPD‘s motto and a bound copy of a wonderfully curated reader full of awesome, though-provoking, and meaningful texts.

Check out the @TheUnPD’s site for upcoming workshops or contact Emily and Christina to host one at your school! More info here: http://www.unprofessionaldevelopment.org/courses/#collab


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Getting EducaTED: Teaching With Ideas Worth Spreading

I’m at EdCampPhilly today, and I am in awe of the free and enthusiastic collaboration, learning, networking, and empowerment going on around me. As an unconference, the schedule is blank from the get-go. Participants are responsible for adding sessions to the board, with the intention of facilitating a conversation rather than lecturing at a given time/space.

After last year’s first EdCampPhilly (the inaugural EdCamp!), I was inspired to be part of a team to organize EdCampNYC. Since then, the map of EdCamps has grown impressively and internationally!

This morning, I offered Getting EducaTED: Teaching With Ideas Worth Spreading. I shared a recent experience teaching Data Visualization to 7th grade math students last week. We began the mini-unit by watching a Hans Rosling TED Talk about HIV data and then explored Gapminder World. (I wrote about it in my last post.) I’ve since appreciated that you can use Gapminder to teach Science, Statistics, Math, Social Studies, etc.

I also mentioned a few other TED Talks I’ve shown students:

Emily Pilloton’s Teaching Design for Change
Chimamanda Adichie’s The Danger of a Single Story
John Hardy’s My Green School Dream
Anthony Atala’s Printing a Human Kidney

In the session, other participants shared useful ideas, sites, links:

Sadly, I was a little verklempt at standing at the front of a large auditorium, being slightly sleep deprived, and fearing for humanity on Judgment Day, so I didn’t take tons of notes at the session. However, Meenoo Rami (@mrami2) started a GoogleDoc for participants to add inspiring TEDTalks that would be awesome to use in a classroom. Access Meenoo’s shared document here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ONu43EPlV-gjWsG65eCQfyDcVX6iG8ugdSXZdqPyc04/mobilebasic?authkey=CJW0rtsM&pli=1&hl=en_US

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8th graders at The School helped design the “Tools At Schools” prototypes on display at ICFF this weekend



Our 8th graders worked with designers from aruliden and Bernhardt to learn about the design process and “the value of design as a problem-solving tool.” Students were divided into groups to redesign the chair, desk, and locker. Integrating research, art, science, and math, students researched what’s out there, interviewed a variety of people, mapped out their ideas, crafted 3D models, and formally presented their findings thorughout the unit.

Rinat Aruh and Johan Liden of aruliden and Jerry Helling of Bernhard conceived and built full-size prototypes of a desk, chair, and locker that incorporated the kids’ ideas and dreams. These prototypes will be on display at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair this weekend and at the Museum of Arts and Design in the coming months!

Watch the gorgeous videos aruliden put together to document the project here: http://tools-at-schools.com/project.html

Similarly, below is Emily Pilloton’s TED Talk about teaching “design for change”:




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